By John R. Anderson - January 1997
One of the most common errors found in Christianity today is that particular persons, usually pastors or evangelists, are somehow more "anointed" than the average Christian. This teaching often coincides with a veiled threat in the form of "touch not mine [the Lord's] anointed," (I Ch. 16:22, Ps. 105:15).
The term "anointing" means to "authorize, or set apart, a person for a particular work or service," (Is.61:1). The New Testament is absolutely clear on whom the anointing rests - ALL of Christ's disciples, who are God's very own, set apart and commissioned for service (2 Cor. 1:21). The New Testament does not support the notion of a "greater" anointing based on "position" and such teaching has its origin in a fundamental misunderstanding of the relationship between the Old and New Testaments.
Proponents of this error fail to use careful exegesis to discern the difference between the Old Testament call of a "prophet," where the anointing rested on one man (Is. 61:1, I Sam. 26:9,11, 2 Sam. 22:51, 2 Chr. 6:42), and the New Testament call of a "priesthood of believers" (I Pet. 2:5,9). Certainly there are diversities of gifts, but the Spirit [or anointing] remains the same (I Cor. 12). Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, and many others have long terrorized God's people with "touch not mine anointed" nonsense if anyone dared question them or their teaching. Anyone who has a gift (all have gifts, 1 Cor. 12:7-11), has a ministry, and anyone who has a ministry, has authority and is anointed.
It is a sad situation in many churches today that "laity" are content to sit on a pew week after week and assume the opinions of professional clergymen are to be the final authority. They find comfort in this approach because it is safe. Preachers are content to keep it this way because it secures their position in the church.
How many times have believers been subjected to mishandled scripture with an implicit or explicit "touch not God's anointed" if any dared to question? This is in contrast to the Biblical admonition to "try the spirits", (1 John 4:1). Fear is not of God and teaching which incorporates psychological intimidation is corrupt and deceptive. One of the easiest ways to determine what "spirit" motivates a person "in authority" is to question them. A godly man or woman will never be offended or become indignant if someone dares to question them and compare what is said with the Word of God. However, if one is motivated by an "authoritarian" spirit of conceit or arrogance, the questioner will soon know it. Peter warned the elders (pastors and spiritual guides of the church) not to be domineering [arrogant, dictatorial, overbearing] over the flock of God, but to be patterns and models of Christian living (I Pet. 5:3, AMPL.)
Many prominent pastors and evangelists today make the claim that because "souls" are being saved and "healings" take place in their meetings, that this somehow validates their ministry. While these things may be well and good, they are no indication of "divine" sanction. A.A. Allen was a drunkard, Jimmy Swaggart a whoremonger, Jim Bakker a thief, Larry Lea a prevaricator, and Robert Tilton a charlatan - yet ALL of these saw thousands saved and miracles take place in their meetings. Because one is blessed with "prosperity" and has a "following" of thousands, doesn't mean a darn thing when it comes to integrity and godly sanction, for "he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust," (Matt. 5:45).
Twenty-six years ago I experienced the greatest miracle of my life - salvation and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This experience came in a Pentecostal "holiness" church where, unbeknown to me at the time, the pastor was committing adultery, one of the deacons (or "pillars" of the church as they were called) visited a prostitute on a regular basis, another deacon kept a large supply of porno magazines in his home, and still another was a philanderer. This taught me that just because God moves in a particular setting, it is no indication that those who bear the message are "godly."